The C B Ranch is located in Montana’s MadisonValley. The ranch sits on the western slopes of the MadisonRange and east of highway 287, and is about 20 minutes south of Ennis.
Via the Corral Creek Road it is about 8 miles to Cameron, 12 to the Big Sky airport, 18 to Ennis and 68 to Bozeman or Gallatin Field in Belgrade. From the ranch manager’s house to Cameron, using the Bear Creek Road it is about ten miles, 3 of which are paved and the other 7 being an all season gravel road.
The ranch is adjacent to primarily large properties that have been held by the same owners for many years; many of these ranches are encumbered by conservation easements insuring that those properties will not be further developed.
The ranch stretches from US 287 on the west to the Forest Service land on the eastern edge of the ranch.
The ranch has over three miles of land directly bordering Forest Service land.
The ranch consists of approximately 6,234 deeded acres. Of this approximately 150 acres are currently irrigated and about 522 acres are forested. At different times the ranch has irrigated more acreage, using a combination of wheel lines, flood and sometimes a big gun.
The balance of the ranch consists of grazing land on the Cameron Bench, rolling foothills leading into the MadisonRange and mountain property.
The ranch has a RecreationalForest Service Use Permit as well as a grazing permit, but the ranch does not control any public leased ground.
The ranch is approximately five miles across on and east-west basis and it averages about two miles wide on a north-south axis.
Antelope and whitetail deer are seen frequently on the western portions of the ranch, while mule deer, elk, moose, bear, wolves and mountain goats are found on the eastern portion of the ranch and on the adjacent forest service lands. A variety of upland birds are found on the ranch, as the property has cottonwood draws, open range land, irrigated crop land and forested terrain...almost every type of land typically found in the Madison Valley is present on the C B Ranch.
Indian Creek provides a great mountain fishery and following the Indian Creek Trail into the MadisonRange provides access to a variety of alpine lakes including No Man’s Lake.
The ranch has access to one of the best horseback and hiking trails into the MadisonRange...the Indian Creek Trail is a well known route that provides an easy route into the GallatinNational Forest as well as the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. This trail also connects to a wealth of trails within the Taylor Hilgard portion of the wilderness.
When the C B operated as a guest ranch, they did utilize a Recreational Use Permit on the adjacent public land. That permit is still available to the ranch for future use, should a new owner desire to continue the guest ranch aspect of the C B.
Indian Creek flows through the ranch for approximately five miles, however due to irrigation demands the western portions of Indian Creek can be dewatered during the summer months. In the western portions of the ranch as well as in the forest and wilderness, Indian Creek represents a great mountain stream fishery. Several of the lakes in the wilderness are good alpine fisheries.
The jewel of the MadisonValley, is of course the Madison River. Described as a 50 mile riffle, the Madison is a world known Blue Ribbon fishery. Numerous public access sites are near the ranch, so for either the floating or wading enthusiast, it hardly gets any better than the Madison River.
The MadisonValley is home to one of the largest elk herds in Montana; the strategic location of the C B Ranch with abundant water, hay fields and cover create an out-standing elk hunting property.
The ranch manager has allowed some hunting on the ranch and he reported that most elk hunters have been successful. Deer and antelope hunters have also had good success call the ranch. The ranch also provides excellent upland bird hunting.
For the hunting enthusiast, this is an ideal ranch.
FOREST SERVICE ACCESS
The C B Ranch has a common border with Forest Service land on the eastern border for over three miles. There is excellent access to public lands.
Located on the south-eastern edge of the C B Ranch is a public trailhead. This trail head was provided to allow access for the general public to the Lee Metcalf Wilderness and GallatinNational Forest.
Access to the ranch is off US highway 287 via either the Corral Creek or Bear Creek Road county roads. The Corral Creek road will normally drift shut during the winter, but the Bear Creek Road is kept open all year long by MadisonCounty.
Both county roads are designed as all weather graveled roads.
Montana’s Madison Valley is home to several small communities, but Ennis is the business heart of the valley. A true western town, Ennis has outstanding dining, great sporting and fishing shops, art galleries, a new hospital and a thriving downtown shop-ping district. From banking to hardware and bagels, Ennis has some great shops and businesses.
The annual Fourth of July Parade and Rodeo traditionally fills the town with tourists as well as locals who show up for a good time. Numerous other festivals and events keep the town lively and spirited...a great place to take your guests!
The nearest post office is located in Cameron, Montana. Historically Cameron has supported a small convenience store, bar and restaurant, but currently those businesses are closed.
West Yellowstone and YellowstoneNational Park are within a short drive from the ranch.
DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND
The western border of the ranch is adjacent to US highway 287 for approximately two miles. Directly east of the highway the land is relatively flat, but it quickly rises up a small hill to the alluvial fan known as the Cameron Bench. Running through the bench are several draws and valleys, the largest of which is a wind sheltered valley carved by Indian Creek. The creek sides are lined with cottonwood trees providing shade and great cover for wildlife. Near the western edge of the ranch and situated near Indian Creek is the owner’s compound, consisting of the owner’s home, barn and several outbuildings.
Situated along Indian Creek and adjacent to the county road is the manager’s home and the working improvements. Also in this same general area is a guest home that overlooks Indian Creek.
As the prairie terrain gives way to fertile irrigated fields and grassy foot-hills, the land begins to rise to rolling hills and small valleys. Along the banks of Indian Creek and near the boundary with the Forest Service land is the location of the building complex that was the headquarters of the C B Guest Ranch. South of this compound is a beautiful valley surrounding South Indian Creek.
To the north of the guest ranch buildings on the northeastern portion of the ranch is the part of the ranch, known as the Sinclair place. This area is characterized by fertile irrigated hay fields, a set of historic ranch buildings, tree lined irrigation canals and grassy meadows leading into sage covered draws, then meeting scattered timber and then finally turning into a lush evergreen forest.
The western portion of the ranch is largely dryland grazing on the Cameron Bench, but the land is punctuated by Indian Creek as well as several small drainages that provide cover for wildlife. Traveling east the ground gradually rises to the foothills of the MadisonRange, then the land begins to pick up additional elevation leading into a forest canopy
The C B Ranch has been under the same ownership since 1971 and was used as a small guest ranch with a supporting cattle operation. Traditionally the ranch has run between 100 and 110 cattle, in addition to horses used both for the guest ranch and the owner’s personal stock.
The ranch has a livestock grazing permit for the Wade Lake Bench, about 21 miles away, at the southern end of the Madison Valley. An annual ranch tradition has been driving the cattle to the summer grazing area in the spring, and then gathering up in the fall and returning the cattle back to the home place.
The western edge of the ranch is about 5,500 feet while the ranch raises to 7,710 feet on the eastern portion. The western parts of the ranch are often snow free during much of the year, but the eastern portion of the ranch can have considerable snow accumulation during the winter months. As the snow depth increases during the winter, the western portions of the ranch provide wildlife with relief from the deep snow.
NATURAL WATER RESOURCES
The ranch has Indian Creek, South Indian Creek and Corral Creek within in its borders. There are several springs, some of which have been developed for domestic or stock water uses on the ranch. In the northeastern portion of the ranch, several small springs combine to create a rivulet that provides water and dense vegetative canopy that attracts and holds wildlife.
There are generally four areas on the ranch where the improvements are located.
The owner’s residence is located along Indian Creek at the western edge of the ranch. Tucked away in a wind protected draw, this home was typically occupied during the summer months when the owners were in Montana and then it was winterized until next summer.
The guest facilities consist of three duplex log cabins, a main lodge with an attached garage, a small tack barn, corrals and an owner’s log home. The lodge has a large commercial grade kitchen, along with a recreation room and large dining/living room. There are several bedrooms in the lodge which were used for employees.
The ranch manager’s home is also located near Indian Creek and nearby are numerous buildings that support the agricultural needs of the ranch. Near this compound is a manufactured home on a permanent foundation that was traditionally used to house friends and relatives who visited the ranch.
Located in the foothills and surrounded by irrigated fields is a set of historic buildings, known as the Sinclair Place.
The home is located near Indian Creek near the western edge of the ranch. Sited in a wind protected valley adjacent to mature cottonwoods, it has privacy, yet provides views of the MadisonRange to the east.
The guest house overlooks Indian Creek in the eastern portion of the ranch. This is a Boise-Cascade home sitting on a permanent foundation that was constructed in 1983. This is a three bedroom, two bath home that has about 1,288 SF of finished living space on the main floor. There is a full unfinished basement.
The manager’s house is located near the county road in the eastern portion of the ranch. The home and support buildings are all nestled along Indian Creek in a sheltered valley.
The C B Guest Ranch was used as a boutique guest ranch for about 30 years. The guest ranch is headquartered along the banks of Indian Creek next to forest service land. The com-pound consists of three duplex cabins, each with a fireplace or wood burning stove.
In the main lodge there is a large kitchen with commercial appliances, a game room and spacious dining hall. Additionally there is an attached garage and bedrooms for employees. On a hill overlooking the buildings is one bedroom log home which was used by the owner of the ranch. There is a tack barn and corrals to support the guest ranch activities.
Tucked between mature groves of cottonwoods and irrigated fields and nestled against the foothills of the Madison Range, is the Sinclair Place, one of the most beautiful and private places on the ranch. With commanding views and a picture perfect location the historic buildings “fit” this location.
With water, wildlife and an interesting topography - it is truly a special place.